PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome affects one in five women in India, where a growing number of women in reproductive age suffer from chronic hormonal imbalances in which the body begins to produce male hormones known as androgens in excess. As a result, women start experiencing irregularities in their menstrual cycle: heavy flow, late arrival, prolonged periods accompanied by various other symptoms like facial hair growth, thinning hair on the scalp, difficulty losing weight, etc.
Many women who suffer from PCOS are concerned about getting pregnant, as it is one of the most common conditions today that directly affects women’s fertility and makes it difficult for them to conceive naturally. The condition disrupts the normal functioning of the ovaries, leaving them enlarged and sometimes with multiple cysts, impairing the ovaries’ ability to release an egg each month, leading to infertility if symptoms are not addressed.
Speaking about how it affects a woman’s daily life, Dr. Puneet Rana Arora, MBBS, MS – Obstetrics and Gynecology, Infertility Specialist and Gynecologist at Meddo Health, shared in an interview with HT Lifestyle, “Hormonal condition is not a not a disease but a life-long condition If not regularly monitored or untreated, it can have a severe impact on women’s general and reproductive well-being The condition, which can present itself in different ways, affects women young people in their twenties with irregular periods, hirsutism, and obesity On the other hand, PCOS in slightly older age groups increases the risk of fertility, miscarriage, diabetes, high blood pressure, slow metabolism, and more ”.
Fortunately, all of the symptoms of PCOS can be managed with just a few everyday lifestyle changes. Dr. Puneet Rana Arora suggested:
Women with PCOS have higher levels of insulin. This means that the level of glucose in the body is higher, which leads to weight gain and fertility problems. To overcome the problem of elevated insulin, women should consider eating green and clean food. A diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar can make matters worse by promoting insulin resistance, leading to more ovarian cysts. In addition, this also makes the weight loss or control process more difficult.
According to statistics, losing even 5% to 10% of body weight helps restore the normal ovulatory cycle and improve PCOS symptoms. Women should consider eating a diet rich in fiber, green vegetables, lean protein, and anti-inflammatory foods to help with infertility. The low-carb diet has become very popular among women with PCOS as it also helps boost their metabolism.
2. Regular exercise
Eliminating the inactivity of daily life is the key to managing PCOS and increasing fertility naturally. Regularity means more than your type of exercise: even 30 minutes of moderate exercise three to five times a week works best. Several cases have shown highly positive results in helping the body better respond to insulin resistance, preventing the risk of type 2 diabetes and other related complications. Also, it reduces high cholesterol and triglycerides that contribute to slow metabolism.
In addition to eliminating the risk of medical conditions, regular exercise helps women with PCOS increase their endorphins, the hormones that promote feelings of well-being. This helps control stress, which is also a major contributing factor to infertility. It also makes the body fall asleep faster with better quality of sleep. As a result, it helps the body to better recover its energy, eliminating fatigue.
The main reason for infertility in women with PCOS is lack of ovulation. Weight loss and exercise generally provide positive results in women, but when they are unsuccessful, a gynecologist may recommend certain medications. It is also imperative to undergo proper fertility tests to make sure that there are no other problems in the body.
There are some common medications that can increase fertility. With technological advances, women with PCOS can also opt for in vitro fertilization or IVF in which the egg is fertilized outside of your body and placed back inside the uterus. This is one of the most proven ways to conceive with PCOS.
Dr. Puneet Rana Arora concluded: “If you are ready or planning to conceive, regardless of condition, start modifying your lifestyle. A healthy diet, exercise, and proper medication can help PCOS provide a holistic approach to dealing with the condition and overcoming infertility issues. It is also imperative to note that if women with PCOS are not ready to have children, they should consider freezing their eggs before the age of 35, which may benefit them if they wish to reproduce in the future.”